Applying for EEA & Norway Grants? Here are our 5 tips!

EEA and Norway Grants ? Looking for a Norwegian partner?

Here are some tips, dos and don’ts from our experience at VINCO!

Many companies contact us to become their partner in EEA & Norway Grants projects. Over time, we gained a lot of experience in EEA & Norway Grants, both in creating applications and in finding partners to join.

For this reason, we have decided to share some of our experiences and tips that might help you to:

  • better prepare for the application process
  • make a better application and
  • not make common mistakes.
EEA and Norway grants are about cooperation.

Introduction about the grants

The EEAgrants.org website explains nicely what the EEA and Norway Grants are and what is the difference between the two: “The Grants are composed of two funding schemes – the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants. The EEA Grants are funded jointly by all three donor countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. The Norway Grants are funded by Norway alone and consist of €1.3 billion during the 2014-2021 funding period.”

The Grants are allocated to 14 countries in Europe – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, where Greece and Portugal do not receive the Norway Grants. These countries are also called beneficiary countries while Norway, Island and Lichtenstein are called donor countries. (EEA Grants, u.d.)

Applicants for the grants must come from the above-named beneficiary countries. It is always possible to have partners from other countries, but the project leader must come from one of the beneficiary countries. Having a partner from a donor country can often give you extra points on the application, which is why you probably contacted us. However, let’s be clear, a good application is a good application. Relying on having partners from a donor country is not a win per se, the application must be strong and relevant.

We are often contacted by various business to join them as we are a Norwegian company. However, before saying yes to a project, we always evaluate how well we fit into it.

Below are some tips that you should keep in mind when structuring and planning your next EEA or Norway Grants application.

Writing application is a demanding process.

 

EEA and Norway funds – topics they fund

EEA and Norway fund different topics. In general, the aim of these funds is to reduce inequalities between European countries and to create a sustainable Europe through transnational cooperation and projects. Some funds are bilateral between Norway and a beneficiary state, but some are multilateral e.g. The EEA and Norway Grants for Youth Employment or The EEA and Norway Grants for Regional Cooperation.

5 tips to keep in mind

1.Start Early

Everyone who has ever done a funding application knows that it takes time to write one. Even if you have the whole concept in your head, organizing partners, discussing the application, and agreeing on the terms, takes time. People have other obligations, and this is one of the many tasks in a busy week.

2. Start looking for a donor partner early!

If you have decided to have a partner from a donor state, do not wait until the last moment, nor include it just to get additional points. No one likes to be an alibi partner. Contacting a donor partner a few days before a deadline signals:

a) That you are not understanding the commitment that it takes to write an application,

b) A lack of planning skills: how will you lead the project if you cannot organize proposal writing?

c) A lack of respect to the donor partner: letting a donor partner join at the last moment, hence not giving them a chance to participate equally, shows disrespect to them.

The result is that the partner will not take you seriously when approached.

3. Do not apply only because there is money available.

Apply because you have a real project! Apply because you have thought about it, because you have well elaborated your idea and because it fits the call. If the call asks for R&D projects, check what does this mean, see how you fit in it. If you are unsure, ask professionals for help. It is better to ask for support in advance than to be eliminated.

4. Be wise about the numbers of partners it is reasonable to have in a project.

Managing 10 partners on a small grant can be very demanding and cost consuming. Choose partners that you really need, not because it is nice to have them.

5. Respect the different cultures!

Just because something might be acceptable in your culture does not mean that it is equally acceptable elsewhere.

a) While it might be acceptable in your culture to scream, yell and threaten a partner, it does not have to be acceptable in other cultures.

b)Listen to what others are saying. Just LISTEN.

Remember that you might achieve even greater results by being curious, asking questions, listening, and respecting different perspectives.

 

Remember that you might achieve even greater results by being curious, asking questions, listening, and respecting different perspectives. Do not take position, rather show interest, and listen to understand why the things are the way they are. Show that you want to learn and understand, and then you might achieve greater things.

Transnational projects require not only project leadership skills, but also skills of managing and respecting different cultures. Even though the calls are for Europe, there are quite some cultural differences within Europe that might create frictions if you are not paying attention or if you are underestimating them.

 

Checklist for you funding application

Here is the checklist you should ask yourself before contacting a Norwegian partner and applying for the grant:

  • Does your project team speak English fluently?
  • Does you project leader understand principles of project leadership? E.g. what is the difference in roles of the Steering committee and the project leader?
  • Are you aware of Norwegian holidays and lower activity seasons?
  • When assuming a budget for a Norwegian partner, are you aware of higher living standards in Norway?
  • Are you aware of the costs that can and cannot be included as expenditures, what goes in indirect costs, which equipment you can fund through the call and how, …?
  • Are you open to cultural differences?  
  • Are you applying for the right call?
  • Are you listening?
Lots of work, discussions and brainstorming goes into a good application.

 

Do not assume! Ask and listen.

Please feel free to ask us any questions regarding the EEA and Norway Grants + 47 98411334 or email: vinco@vinco.no. We have helped companies finding partners, contributing to the application process and even being a partner on application. Here is the link to our website about funding.

Feel free to check one of our EEA And Norway Grants funded projects: ZEV innovation.

Feel free also to check EEA And Norway Grants websites for detailed information.